The start of my relationship with my husband wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, my first sight of him was a quick glimpse of his back as he walked away from me across a crowded room.
We were at my office open house (anyone read “Savin’ Me”… is this sounding familiar?)… I was a new employee and they’d just moved into a new space. Turns out, our office was known for throwing massive parties (we didn’t need much of an excuse and the Christmas parties were legendary. Another time, I’ll tell you about one that almost ended up with me divorced, before we even got married!) Anyway, the grand opening of the new office space was the perfect reason to have a party. I’d just started work the week before, he’d just moved back to town the week before, so there we were… but we didn’t meet that day.
I was the ad agency’s receptionist, and I worked with his sister. He’s a huge practical jokester, so for the next two months, whenever he called to speak with her, I got hit with a joke, we’d talk for a few minutes, and then I’d pass him off to her.
One Friday afternoon, I answered the phone, we spoke for a few minutes, and then I said, “Hang on just a sec.”
He said, “Why you puttin’ me on hold?”
“Because that’s the only way I can transfer the phone to your sister.”
I’ll never forget the next words, said in his smooth, eastern North Carolina drawl, “I didn’t call to talk to her. I called to talk to you.”
I’d been standing because I’d grabbed the phone on the run, so I lowered myself into my chair and held my breath.
He said, “I have two tickets for the football game tomorrow, you wanna go?”
At this point, I was all kinds of conflicted. I said, “My co-worker just invited me to go with him and his girlfriend, and it sounds like so much fun, but I don’t have a babysitter.” (Dusty was five) There were a few other reasons I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, but I won’t go into those now.
He said, “I can do better than him. If I find a sitter, will you go?”
Fifteen minutes later, he called back to see if I wanted the babysitter at his house or mine! :D I should probably let you know that later, he told me I wasn’t his first choice. His first choice had to work, so I was his second (and only) option. He didn’t want to go to the game without a date, so he was highly motivated! LOL
Since I’d just moved to town and didn’t have any furniture, we settled on his house. Correctly assuming that a fridge full of beer and leftover pizza wouldn’t be suitable for a five-year-old, Charles had us come over early so we could take Dusty to the grocery and let him pick out snacks for the day.
We left Dusty and the babysitter with enough junk food to put them into a diabetic coma, and headed off for the game. The game was great… in the beginning. But as Charles continued to work his way through airplane bottle after airplane bottle after airplane bottle, the afternoon took a turn for the worse. At least as far as I was concerned.
By the time the game was over, he was sloshed. I was annoyed.
I drove us back to his house with every intention of grabbing my kid and running for the hills. But the next thing I knew, Charles and his roommates had Dusty in the backyard, innings deep into an epic whiffle ball game. He was so sweet and amazing with my kid, I couldn’t help but melt.
At least enough for him to talk me into staying for dinner.
Hey, he offered to grill steaks!
As he sobered, the evening improved, but there were still times I found myself shaking my head and thinking, “This guy is so full of shit, no wonder his eyes are brown.”
When it came time for me to leave, he invited me to go downtown the following day to the United Way Fundraiser Kick-off. His friend was playing a concert in the park and he thought it would be something fun we could do with Dusty.
Not anxious to repeat this crazy up and down date, I fumbled for a good excuse. Finally, I remembered... “Oh, gosh. I wish I could, but I have laundry to do!”
“No problem,” he said, “I have a washer and a dryer.”
Okay, anyone who’s ever gone to a public laundry mat knows doing laundry in the luxury of a home is sooooo much better. I debated whether or not I was willing to tolerate another lousy date, and decided it was worth the risk.
Amazingly enough, it was one of the best dates, EVER! He continued to be incredibly sweet and attentive to my son, he carried him around on his shoulders so he could see everything going on, and he stopped and got a family-friendly movie we could all watch while the laundry was finishing up.
The next evening, he showed up at my house with a package of Dusty’s favorite cookies (chocolate chip with M&M’s on top) and a rose for me. He also asked if he could take us to the go-cart track that Friday.
We didn’t talk anymore that week, but true to his word, he arrived promptly at six-thirty on Friday and Date #3 cinched the deal. Dusty and I were hooked! Since that night, we’ve been pretty much inseparable, and I’m so grateful one of the first purchases Hubs made when he bought his new house was that washer and dryer!!
Two little side notes: I don’t have a picture of them playing whiffle ball the night of our first date, but I do have a picture of them playing ball the day we got married. We had a church wedding, then everyone went home and changed into casual clothes for the pig-pickin’ reception. Dusty was anxious to play, after having been in a little suit and uncomfortable shoes for a few hours, so Charles stood out in the drive with him and played ball before he changed.
Also, since his surgery and especially since the radiation, his memory is horrible!! He can’t remember conversations he had twenty-minutes ago or whether or not he’s had lunch. BUT… he still remembers Dusty’s favorite kind of cookies, and it’s not at all uncommon for him to grab a bag for Dusty if he’s at the grocery store.
Okay, your turn. Tell me about a whacky date that turned around... or one that didn’t! LOL Did you have lots of starts and stops on your road to Happily Ever After? Are you still in the process of missing massive potholes and a few landmines, looking for the "Right One?"
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